Milliyet/Sabah - Dow Europe, the European unit of the US-based chemicals manufacturer Dow Chemical, and Turkish synthetic fiber maker Aksa Akrilik have joined forces to set up a partnership to produce carbon fiber, a key substance mainly used in the automotive, construction and aerospace industries. The 50-50 partnership will invest USD 1 billion in Aksa’s Yalova plant in northwestern Turkey, creating 1,000 new jobs.
Announced with a ceremony attended by Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergun, the Investment Promotion and Support Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) President Ilker Ayci, Dow Chemical Executive Vice President Heinz Haller and Akkok Group CEO and Aksa Chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman, the JV agreement includes both developing and marketing of carbon fiber products and technical services for the composites industry.
“The initial amount of investment, calculated to be around USD 500 million, has been increased to USD 1 billion with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s personal involvement,” Minister Ergun said at the ceremony. Drawing attention to the increasing amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) into Turkey, he noted that the total will reach USD 12.5 billion by year-end.
“The partnership between Dow and Aksa will contribute significantly to our country’s exports,” Akkok Group CEO Mehmet Ali Berkman commented on the agreement. Dow Executive Vice President Heinz Haller also noted that high-tech products of the large-scale integrated unit will be marketed worldwide, serving the needs of the world’s leading industries.
ISPAT President Ilker Ayci highlighted the high added-value creating nature of the investment, and said that the partnership will play a major role in meeting the global demand for carbon fiber and its derivatives. “The deal presents important opportunities in increasing Turkey’s added-value exports,” said Ayci, adding that the investment also marks Turkey’s rising appeal in the eyes of US investors. US companies have invested USD 650 million in Turkey in January-November of 2011, an increase of 147 percent over the last year.